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  • "My condolences to Ryan's family at this sad time. RIP Ryan."
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VIDEO: People of Kendal pay their respects to soldier Ryan Ward

VIDEO: People of Kendal pay their respects to soldier Ryan Ward

Soldiers carry the coffin of Kingsman Ryan Ward at this afternoon's funeral service

The cortege passes through Kendal

People lined the streets to pay their respects

Mark Ward, 18, mourns for his brother

A salute was fired in Parkside Cemetery

First published in News The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Kendal came to a standstill this afternoon to honour a 20-year-old 'true hero'.

Thousands came out onto the streets to pay their respects to Kingsman Ryan Ward, who was found dead at his Lound Street home last month.

Kendal Parish Church was filled with family, friends and fellow soldiers for the full military funeral.

Soldiers from 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, with whom Ryan served in Afghanistan, carried his coffin with his cap, belt, medal and a white wreath laid on top.

His mum, Kathryn, dad, Richard, and 18-year-old brother, Mark, followed closely behind with other family members.

Ryan began his first operational tour of duty in Helmand in June with 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, and had only returned weeks before his death.

During the service Major Finlay Bibby described Ryan as an exceptional young man and said he felt lucky to have had such a soldier.

“He was a gentle human being and a brave hero on the battlefield,” he said.

“Over the course of the summer his actions saved the lives of friends, many of whom are here today. And his work improved the security and therefore lives of Afghans."

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